By Mike Barnett

PETA Express has loco motives. Time for agriculture to head to the station.

PETA is blowing smoke again.

Which isn’t unusual, because the radical animal rights group is always up to something. More times than not their caustic cauterwaulings are aimed at animal agriculture.

Such as their latest stunt. After learning that the national railroad Amtrak is conducting tests of a beef tallow-based biofuel on its route from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, PETA protested. Big surprise. PETA wrote a letter to Amtrak’s CEO Joseph Boardman, offering to wrap the train with an ad touting the environmental benefits of a vegan diet. The ad would read, “Go vegan. Get on track to save the planet! PETA.”

Blah, blah, blah…you know the routine. Raising livestock is bad for the environment; eating meat is akin to destroying the earth, the same old score.

“Okay,” you say.  “Mike. You’re getting steamed over nothing.”

Maybe. Amtrak is certainly not going to accept PETA’s offer. Only a person with a one-track mind will pay attention to this jerkwater publicity stunt. Or somebody who doesn’t know any better.

Problem is, there’s a whole lot of Americans—Texans, too—who don’t know any better. PETA stays on-track with a constant hammering of animal agriculture. Livestock producers, by and large are asleep at the switch.

A far greater threat than PETA, however, is the Humane Society of America (HSUS), as David Martosko of the Center for Consumer Freedom explains in a recent article on cattlenetwork.

“Everyone knows PETA is a bunch of lunatics with their crazy stunts,” Martosko said. “Its whole purpose is to make HSUS look reasonable by comparison.”

Martosko maintains it is all about tactics, and used the example of a pickpocket and a conman in comparing the two activist groups.

“The pickpocket will bump into you and rob you. The conman will befriend you, gain your trust and rob you. The strategy is the same, tactics are different, but it has the same end result.”

PETA, the pickpocket; HSUS, the conman…friends, these attacks on our industry are not going to stop.

I can huff and puff for hours on end but unless individual producers start discrediting this nonsense, a lot of those people who don’t know any better will become true believers. PETA will continue to knock animal agriculture in the head. HSUS will continue to use stealth tactics to cause far greater harm.

The entire animal agriculture industry needs to get involved. “Either you believe in farming or you don’t,” Martosko said. “Either you’re willing to defend it or you’re not.”

Listen to that train whistle, folks, and head toward the station. Otherwise, agriculture will continue to get railroaded.

Mike Barnett

Director of Publications
Texas Farm Bureau
I’m a firm believer that farmers and ranchers will continue to meet the needs of a growing world population by employing equal measures of common sense, conservation and technology.
Follow Mike on Twitter and Facebook.

One Response to “PETA Express has loco motives”

  1. Mike Barnett says:

    I’d like to relate a story that has relevance to this whole issue of speaking out for agriculture. A gentlemen replied to this blog on Facebook. He suggested we develop programming and messaging to set the record straight. Folks, we have had programming and messaging for years. What we need are credible farmers and ranchers who are motivated to speak out to both defend and promote their industry. Only then will we put a stop to this kind of nonsense.

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